Groves Varsity Football Seeking for an Undefeated Season

Birmingham Groves Varsity football has experienced an impressive year so far, currently undefeated in their season. On October 9th, during our homecoming game, Varsity took on Berkely for the OAA Blue Division Championship, and came out victorious with an end score of 47-14. Most recently, on October 16th, our Varsity shutout Royal Oak High School, concluding the game 42-0. On October 23rd, Groves will face Ann Arbor Pioneer at home for its last game before moving onto playoffs. Varsity head coach Brendan Flaherty explained what the team has done to be so successful, some of the highlights of the season, as well as how the team is now preparing for their finale game on October 23rd and the rapidly approaching playoffs.

Christian Zeitvogel: “Regarding the huge victory over Berkely, what is the significance of that game and the league championship?”

Coach Flaherty: “We were both tied for first place, so the winner would win the title [the OAA Blue League Championship].”

CZ: “How does that victory affect Groves going forward with our ranking and division placement?”

CF: “Every victory helps us regarding our ranking and our image when it comes time for playoffs. It improves our placement in district games. It not only effects the league title, but it also gives us a foothold for the title.”

CZ: “Regarding the most recent huge victory for Groves against Royal Oak, with a 42-0 lead, how did you guys prepare for the game?”

CF: “I believe the guys did a great job during the game. It was a very ‘chippy’ week in practice; the guys were on edge, it’s [Varsity] a tough place to play, but we were much improved going over there. They took care of business.”

CZ: “Do you have any highlights of the game? It was mentioned that both Cedric Boswell and Ernest Allen had a stellar performance that game. Could you elaborate?”

CF: “I think one of the highlights for us was with Samaad Ali, he had a huge play with an interception on a boot route. Both Cedric and Ernest had phenomenal runs and they always do great things. Actually, there was also J.P. Culbertson. On the last play of the game, he [Culbertson] made a huge sack; He stuffed their offense so they couldn’t score and rose to the occasion. I thought that was a highlight I would remember too.”

CZ: “With the playoffs coming up after Pioneer, what are you guys looking forward to? Or is there anything specific that you will do to prepare for the playoffs since it is a different level?”

CF: “We want to win playoff games; we want to win, instead of just being satisfied with getting into the playoffs. Regarding preparation, I think will take notes from the swim team when they start going into States. They go into tapering. So we’ll try and cut back the amount of time that guys are on the field. We want them at their best for game nights. Just like a swimmer in their ‘taper-mode’, trying to get more sleep, cut their practice sessions, and watch what they eat, and an emphasis on drinking water.”

CZ: “What would you say is one of the team’s biggest strengths right now?”

CF: “I think we’re at a real high level of competiveness. There’s a lot of guys that are really competitive and are never satisfied in just winning. That’s good, and we don’t want to lose that energy. We have intense practices, and it carries over into the games, which I love.”

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